Select Field Miscellany

Here are some Field stories and accounts over the years:

The de la Field Family

The Anglo-Norman de la Field family can be traced back to the 11th century and an area called Colmar in Alsace Lorraine in northern France.  Their ancestral castle was positioned on a pass in the Vosges Mountains.  Some ruins of the castle and chapel still remain. 

These de la Fields crossed the Channel.  Hubert de la Field was first recorded in Buckinghamshire in the 12th century.  Simon at Field moved to Sussex, giving his name to Field Place where the poet Shelley was born.  John Felde was sheriff of London in 1454. 

They were to be found in Ireland from about the year 1200.  There was one early line at Glynsurd near Dublin and they were to be found at Corduff from the 14th century.  They were also at Fieldstown in county Meath and at various locations in county Monaghan.  These de la Fields in Ireland tended to become Fields. 

Related de la Fields at Westcote and Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire in England became Delafields.


The Fields of Pulloxhill Manor

For generations the Field men of Pulloxhill manor tended to marry late and often to much younger women.  In 1694 the age difference was about 15 years.  In 1730 Thomas Field had his only son when he was 36.  John Field died in 1759 aged 63 but his widow was still alive in 1787.  Thomas Field married in 1840 when he was about 63 and his bride 27 and his brother Charles married when he was about 40.  In the last direct generation, they left things a tad too long and none of them married at all.

Robert Field's Ancestry

Robert Field was one of the early English settlers in Dutch New York, having settled in Flushing in what is now Brooklyn by 1645.  He came from a Yorkshire family in Sowerby which has been traced back to Christopher Feld who died there in 1509.  The line from him ran to: 
  • John Feld who died in 1520  
  • Christopher Field who married Grace Gradeheigh and died in 1554  
  • William Field who married Susan Midgley and died in 1619  
  • and Robert Field who was fourteen when his father died and who came to America in 1630

Zechariah Field in America

Zechariah Field was the ancestor of a large proportion of the families of that name, not only in New England but overall in the United States.  He was in Boston and Dorchester and moved thence to Hartford, Connecticut, going through the wilderness to the Connecticut river where he was one of the first settlers.

He owned large tracts of land there, some of which are now in the heart of the city of Hartford.  His residence was on Sentinel Hill, to the north end of Main Street.

In 1644 dissensions arose in the church which could not be successfully reconciled.  He, along with others of the early settlers, purchased into some nine square miles of land lying north of Mount Holyoke.  Field settled in the part now named Northampton.  In 1661 a grant was given to him in the part now known as Hatfield, to which place he moved and passed the remainder of his days.

There is no evidence that Zechariah Field the immigrant was related to John Field, the Yorkshire astronomer. A later Field, Osgood Field, wrote:

"As for the assertion in the pamphlet that John Field, son of the Astronomer, had a son named Zechariah, and that William and John Field, the early settlers of Rhode Island, were sons of William and grandsons of the Astronomer, they are not entitled to the slightest credence, not being supported by a shade of evidence."

Daniel Field in Vermont

Daniel Field was born in Rhode Island and moved with his family to Springfield, Vermont sometime in the 1770ís.  He settled in what is now known as the Field Place, at the mouth of Field Brook, and the family were living there at the time the Indians burned Royalton in 1780.  

He was commonly called "Quaker Field" from the fact that he always wore the Quaker style of dress even though he was never a member of the sect. His word was always sacredly kept. When the term of service of the Rhode Island troops was about to expire in the army, Washington went among them and personally besought them to re-enlist, as it was the darkest time of the Revolution. Daniel Field would not enlist, but told Washington he would stay a month longer.  Washington replied, with thanks, saying: "your word is as good as your bond." 

While her husband was absent working at the forge in the winter to pay for the farm, Mrs. Field lived alone with her two children in the Vermont forests. Wild animals, especially black bears, wolves and catamounts, were there aplenty.  Once she scared a huge panther from her door and another time she heard the fierce howls of what proved to be a pack of wolves that came up to the yard near the house, After a half hour fighting with the oxen, the wolves galloped off and left them. 

Shortly her husband returned.  Daniel carried on blacksmithing in the shop on the brook until near the time of his death.  His son Arthur followed the business after his father's death in 1834.

Field and Fields

The Field/Fields divide in the UK is approximately 85/15 today.  Fields have been found primarily down the East Coast of England, starting in Yorkshire and running through Lincolnshire into Norfolk.  In the 1881 British census, the main place for Fields was Sheffield.

In the US, the Fields spelling is more predominant today, outnumbering Field by roughly three to one.  Fields is proportionately stronger in the South.

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